“Our thoughts are with those affected across areas, and with our staff and the people we serve, hit by today’s earthquake. The quake happened at the worst time of night at the worst time of the year,” says Carsten Hansen, Middle East Regional Director for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), following the earthquake in Syria and Türkiye.
This is a disaster that will worsen the suffering of Syrians already struggling with a severe humanitarian crisis.
“Millions have already been forced to flee by war in the wider region and now many more will be displaced by disaster. In the midst of a winter storm and an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis, it is vital that Syrians are not left to face the aftermath on their own,” says Hansen.
We have been on the ground in northern Syria speaking with survivors of the earthquake. One survivor, Khaled, told us: “All the shelling we survived in the past 12 years didn’t scare us; but this earthquake is horrific. The feeling is indescribable. It felt like doomsday.”
NRC appeals to the international community for the immediate mobilization of financial resources to support collective relief efforts in Syria and southern Türkiye.
“With every minute of delay, there will be lives lost,” says Hansen.